Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wicked, wicked ways

I've been racking my brain, trying to figure out what I'd write today. It's almost Thanksgiving, so I feel as though I should post about something Thanksgiving-y. I kept waffling on that, however, because I don't really have any Thanksgiving-related ties to any classic movies, so I couldn't even think of what to write with that in mind. I humored different possibilities but I've decided to write about something not Thanksgiving-y at all.

A friend of mine, Kate Gabrielle (fabulous artist, knowledgable blogger, and pin-maker extraordinaire), wrote a think piece last year called "When your fave is problematic." It was a wonderful post about whether it's possible to separate the art from the artist when you like the art but the artist is not a particularly great person. Her thoughts on the subject mirrored mine exactly and I think of that blog post frequently.

The piece becomes even more relevant today, in light of Weinstein and the seeming droves of celebrities who, it turns out, are not actually terrific people after all. It's such a tricky moral dilemma. Like Kate wrote in her own post, I find myself reacting differently to each situation. I find it easy to dislike Adolphe Menjou after reading his conservative political views in Myrna Loy's autobiography. But I still struggle to dislike Errol Flynn, who I know was a bad person. And Gary Cooper, who was a friendly witness in the HUAC trials. I can easily write off Woody Allen as a creep - I don't like his movies anyway so there's nothing lost there. But, hearing John Lasseter is taking a leave of absence amidst reports of bad behavior stirs conflicting feelings in me.

As bad as this conundrum is in regards to current celebrities, I feel even worse about it when it comes to classic movie celebrities that I love. I have a picture of Errol Flynn pinned up at my desk at work (alongside Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, Myrna Loy, William Powell, and Audrey Hepburn). I looked at the other day and felt a rush of conflicting emotion - should I even like him anymore?

One of my good friends hates Clark Gable after reading an article about his rape of Loretta Young. The story definitely tints my view of him as a person - but I still enjoy It Happened One Night. I was angry when I read that Casey Affleck won an Oscar, despite the allegations against him. He may be a talented actor, but is it right to give him accolades? I have a harder time forgiving actors in contemporary movies; I don't have as much sentimental attachment to them or their roles. But the people I grew up watching, the movies that comfort me after a rough day, the scenes that I love so much that quoting them has become part of my identity - that is harder to sift through. I feel as though I need to have a consistent mindset about it - I should write off Errol Flynn with the same ease with which I write off Woody Allen. But I still love The Adventures of Robin Hood. Is that wrong?

I don't actually have an answer to this conundrum. It's something I've been working through in my head for a while now. I can't think of a better way to wrap this up than Kate did, so here is her final thought on the matter. And definitely go read her article because it's a very good discussion on the topic:

Ideally I would love to experience a moment of clarity on this topic, but for the time being I remain thoroughly ethically confused. I guess at the very least, the fact that my enjoyment of movies created by morally questionable people bothers me is a sign that my conscience is still somewhat intact. The knot may never become untied, but at least there's a glimmer of hope that it could loosen.

Read more: Silents and Talkies: When your fave is problematic 

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you find this to be a moral dilemma as well? (Also, I changed the settings on the comments, so hopefully they'll start posting again. I am sorry about that!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What a way to break up a cold!

Yesterday, I posted an outfit inspired by Mary Tyler Moore as Laura Petrie.

I started a pinterest board ages ago called Movie Outfits to Recreate and this was one of the first ones on it. I adore Laura Petrie and pretty much everything she wears is perfect to me. I know I'm not alone in wanting to recreate outfits from movies and shows - but it always felt like something I might do someday. Sewing intimidates me considerably. I've started so many projects that are as yet unfinished. I was pretty nervous about embarking on a new project - what if I didn't complete it? What if I messed it up? What if, in this one outfit, I proved that I don't have the ability to make my own clothes? Okay, so that's a lot of pressure to put on one shirt but that's how my mind works.

Anyway, I showed my mom my Pinterest board to get her input on which would be the easiest outfit to do. She saw this picture and pointed at the screen and said, "that one. Do that one. You can make that."

I wasn't sure. I mean, it had sleeves. But my mom insisted I could do it. So we started brainstorming. We discussed fabric first. I loved the way the top fit Mary Tyler Moore nicely but had a nice boxy cut at the bottom. My mom decided that double knit was the best option because it would fit over my head without needing a button or a zipper, would be nicely fit at the top like I'd want, but wouldn't drape at the bottom. Then, we looked for a pattern. We knew on the outset that there wouldn't be a pattern exactly like that shirt but my mom is brilliant when it comes to adjusting patterns so I trusted her instincts. She found one that was specifically designed to be modified. I went to Joann's when I had coupons and they had sales and bought the fabric, the pattern, and the thread.

The pattern turned out to be even better than we had anticipated. It came with the usual pattern pieces but also came with gridded pattern paper so you could make adjustments. My mom added the triangles to the top and bottom of the shirt and she made sure the side was shaped the way I needed it. With a pattern in hand, the rest was up to me.

Like I said, I've struggled with completing projects. I've had so many "1 hour" sewing projects that take me weeks or months to complete. So when my mom said I could finish this in an afternoon, I was skeptical. But, I invited a friend to come over for a crafting afternoon, determined to knock it out as my mom predicted.

I still get pretty confused about how selvage comes into play with cutting but my mom guided me (via phone - sketch below) to get the cut right. The dreaded sleeves stressed me out considerably but my friend, Ashley, encouraged me through that process.

And, just as my mom said, I finished it in one afternoon!!

The edges were a little unpolished so my mom helped me finish the edging. But in one weekend, I had an outfit that was totally wearable and totally cute!

I even had a coworker tell me she loved my trendy top! Success!

Monday, November 20, 2017

I'm just a housewife...

Style Sunday! Er...Monday!

Today, dear friends, I'm channeling one of my favorite characters ever, Laura Petrie, played by Mary Tyler Moore. I discussed yesterday how Mary Tyler Moore's fashion choices were bold and ahead of her time. Well, today, I'm taking a page out of her book and wearing an outfit inspired by her.

And that top? Made by me!! I will discuss how I made it tomorrow.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rob, you know what I wish you'd do? Something!

So, I'm going to do it again. I'm going to change things up from my original plan.

You, dear readers, who probably barely remember the plan I set up when I first started this Month of Blogging are probably wondering why I keep doing this or mentioning it. But, I'm a person who really likes rules and boundaries and I have a really hard time breaking rules - even my own. So any time I change things up from what I said I was going to do, I feel guilty.

But, I'm going to do it anyway.

According to my original plan, today's post would be about style. But I'm going to do that tomorrow instead. Why? Because I have a whole idea of how I want to do my hair and possibly a little makeup. Also, I made part of what I'm wearing tomorrow so I want the ensemble to be complete and this evening was spent in polishing that hand-made piece. This is, in fact, what I truly had in mind when I thought of the whole Style Sunday thing: I'd pick out an outfit from a movie or show or photo shoot and recreate it. So, I really want it to be perfect.

Anyway, this week launches the next theme in this month's blog-a-thon: The Dick van Dyke Show. Okay, okay. It's not a movie. But it's from the 1960's and, well, it's a fantastic show. So I'm going to devote some time to it. It's my favorite TV show so I'll probably be devoting a lot of time to it in the future.

It's such a great show. Mary Tyler Moore is both a fashion icon and a feminist icon. The writing on the show was surprisingly progressive for its time. Plus, you've got to love Dick van Dyke.

I have all sorts of topics I'd love to discuss about the show. But for this blog post, I'll stick to talking about the pants. Oh, the infamous pants. When the show was originally aired, most TV housewives wore dresses and pearls for everything. When Mary Tyler Moore was cast in the role of Laura Petrie, she changed that by wearing her own cigarette pants. Not only wearing them, she insisted on wearing them. She fought for the right to wear pants on screen. At the time, the producers were afraid it would be inappropriate for her to be wearing pants. She argued that no one thought of her as indecent when she wore them out to the grocery store in real life. In the end, they compromised and she was allowed to wear pants in one scene per episode. As an avid pant-wearer myself, I feel like I have a lot to be grateful for Mary Tyler Moore.

There's an episode in the show called "Give Me Your Walls" where Rob Petrie (Dick van Dyke) says to Laura, "just remember, honey, that I wear the pants in the family." Then, they both look down at her pants and he adds, "I mean that I wear the decision-making pants in the family."

This would be a frustrating line in any show other than the Dick van Dyke Show. It's totally a father-knows-best, the man is the head of the household kind of gender role rubbish that pervaded television (and still tends to rear its ugly head now). But, in the Dick Van Dyke Show, I can laugh because I know that this sort of line always comes around to be proven wrong. Every time Rob Petrie tries to exert some sort of masculine superiority, he always winds up eating humble pie, or at the very least, come to terms with the fact that he's often wrong. I'll probably wax eloquent on their relationship another time but Rob and Laura, throughout the show, are partners and share everything. So any time Rob challenges that, the episode explores how wrong he is. For 1960's television, it's pretty incredible.

Anyway, here's to Laura Petrie and Mary Tyler Moore and breaking barriers through fashion choices.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A woman unhappily in love? She forgets to turn on the oven!

So, I plan to make souffles. I had planned to make them yesterday, but it seemed silly to make two and be alone to eat it. Then, I had planned to make them today when my friend came over. But, I spent the whole time crafting (which was the purpose of her visit) and ran out of time to make them before she left. And then dinner took a while because I had an outrageous headache and I waffled back and forth over what to eat. And, finally, it was 8 o'clock at night and I still hadn't even started the souffles and I had run out of the energy to make them. I still plan to make souffles because it is too good an opportunity when discussing Sabrina. I will make a mini post when I do.

In the meantime, here is the recipe I plan to use. It looks delicious and I will let you all know how it turns out! Click the photo to get to the recipe.

Also, here is the scene that inspires this recipe choice:

Friday, November 17, 2017

I shall be the most sophisticated woman at the Glen Cove Station.

So, here's the thing. Friday would normally be my day to post a recipe of some sort (Foodie Friday and all that). But, my recipe for this week is a dessert for two. And I just can't justify making two desserts for just me. Not because I don't deserve it but because I probably wouldn't want to eat both. So, I'm waiting until tomorrow when my friend is coming to visit and I can make the dessert for two for the two of us.

In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of Audrey Hepburn!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I could have sworn you took in more territory than that

Today's Spotlight on a... scene. I'm going to post about one of my favorite scenes in Sabrina (1954): the scene when Sabrina arrives from Paris.

It's a wonderful scene because we (and David) finally get to see Sabrina as she really is, a witty, beautiful, sexy, confident, classy woman. She's no longer the shy, lovelorn girl she used to be. I love the character's growth and how Sabrina coming into her own is what makes her so irresistible.